Simple Guide to Bridal Lingerie and Shoe Options

From bras to slips to shoes, the choices for bridal lingerie and accessories seems endless. This article helps take some of the guess work out of it all.

What you wear beneath you wedding dress is just as important as the dress itself. The right lingerie compliments your dress and gives you the perfect look, while wearing the wrong undergarments will not only be obvious but can have detrimental effects---as most brides see only afterwards in their wedding photos. With so many choices and factors to consider, let's start from the top and work our way down, and hopefully when this article is over you will have a better understanding of what your options are and can chose what is best for your special day.

Strapless Bras: Most every lady out there is familiar with the strapless bra. These can be purchased rather inexpensively and, if you aren't wanting tummy slimming control, they are the best way to go. They work with just about every wedding dress, except the obvious backless.

Seamless Long Line Bras: These come in molded and smooth and resemble a corset or bustier (boos-tee-ay) in that they hook up the back and offer tummy slimming control as they end right at your hip area. You will need help putting one of these on! More suited to a slender figure as they are not boned to offer a lot of support. These are priced in the $50 range.

Satin or Lace Torsolette/Braselette: Similar to Long Line Bras but have boning to offer support for bustier and/or fuller-figured women, as well as featuring tummy slimming control. In the same price range as Long Line bras. Backless Strapless Long Line Bras These are perfect for for that low-cut plunge in the back. They end at your waist so there's not a whole lot of tummy slimming control. Priced in the $30 range.

Now, if you're thinking of going bra-less---Don't!! You might not think it won't show, but trust me, it will be noticeable and you really need some sort of support as your wedding dress just will not fit or look right without it. If you just don't want to wear a bra, there are a couple more options for you:

Bra Cups: These are tacked into your dress. They won't make you have a bigger bust, or offer much support, but they will provide that little something that every wedding dress needs, and they hide nipple showings! However, bra cups work best with A cups to C cups, because if you are D cup, or larger, you must consider wearing proper support. These come in white or flesh colored and most bridal alteration specialists recommend flesh colored. Bra cups can be purchased at most fabric stores, for do-it-yourself in the price range of $4-$10, or you can get them done during your alterations fitting for around the $20 price range.

Adhesive Bras: In my experience, I've not had too many brides who were satisfied with wearing this type of bra. The brides who swear by them are in the A-B cup size, any larger and gravity and activity causes the adhesive to loosen and suffer slippage. Since they come in such a variety of styles, my best recommendation is to find someone who has worn them with success and go from there. They range in price from $10-$60.

Next on our list is Slips. You might not think your wedding dress needs a full slip, or you might not want to wear one as most brides see these slips and immediately reject the 'poofiness'. However, not all slips are created equal! Indulge me a minute as I explain about Slips.

Fitted Flare Slip: This style is suited to Mermaid or Trumpet style dresses. They offer just a bit of fullness to enhance the bottom of your dress. In the $40-$50 price range.

Very Full Ball Gown Slip: This style starts out full at the top and gets fuller as it reaches the bottom. Usually has 3 tiers of tulle. A must if you want that Cinderella look. In the $60-$70 price range.

Full Ball Gown Slip: This style offers medium fullness for gowns, or brides, that don't need a lot of 'poof'. In the $40-$50 price range.

2-Tier Slip: This style also offers medium fullness for gowns that don't need a lot of 'poof'. More suited to A-Line dresses. In the $40-$50 price range.

All of the above price ranges are for new items. If you are thrifty shopper, you can find any of these items in a second-hand store, or borrow from a friend or relative who has recently married.

Now we've moved down to your feet. While visions of wearing those 4-inch glass heels to complete the fantasy of marrying your tall Price Charming dance in your head, if you are not used to wearing this style of shoe on a regular basis you are just asking for tears during your reception. The most popular styles of wedding shoes are as follows:

Bare feet: Unless you are getting married on the beach and will stay there, you probably don't want to go barefoot. And if you do insist on it, make sure you get your dress hemmed because there's nothing worse than tripping on your dress on that special day.

Ballet Slippers: Preferred by brides who are seeking comfort as #1, ballet slippers can be dressed up or bought at a bridal store already with lace and beads. These can also be dyed, so if your entire wedding party wants shoes to match their dresses, inquire where you bought their dresses about this service. Most times the dye job is complimentary with purchase.

Sneakers/Tennis Shoes: These are growing in popularity, next to ballet shoes, for comfort. You can dress them up, or wear your old grungies.

  • 1-inch heels: Give you a little height while still keeping your toes and feet happy.
  • 2-inch heels: These are the highest you're probably going to want to go.
  • 3-inches and above: Should only be worn by experienced heels wearers. You might think that for just one day you can wear those really cool 4-inch heels without trouble. Trust me, within two hours your feet will be screaming at you!

Personal experience: When I remarried, it took me nine months to find the perfect shoes. They were just gorgeous and perfect for my dress! They were also 3-inches. I figured, no big deal. By the fourth hour I had kicked off the shoes and was walking barefoot on the cool floor trying to get a little relief. After we returned home, I had to soak my feet in ice water, complete with tons of ice, for two hours before I started feeling normal again.

My final suggestion is you try on the above different items before you chose your wedding dress. I've seen many brides thrilled with their dress only to be upset later when they discover an undergarment they hate is required to make their dress look and fit the way it is supposed to. Happy weddings to all!